A Short History of the FURR Family in America
and Compiled by:
Robert Carol Furr, Jr.
Betty S. Furr
Based on Research by:
Rev. William T. Albright
Jackie Furr Norwood
Robert Carol Furr
Martha R. Furr
William Frazier Furr
OUR STORY is presented as a birthday gift to my father, Robert Carol Furr, on the anniversary of his fifty-fifth year, our Nation's two hundredth year, and our family's two hundred and thirty-third year in the new world.
OUR STORY is based on documented facts. However, since it is not intended to be a genealogical study, or a historical accounting, in some instances I have relied upon my own conjecture to enhance the story line and the reading enjoyment.
Robert Carol Furr, Jr.
July 26, 1976
Robert Carol Furr, Jr. is the son of Robert Carol Furr, son of Beecham Zerobie Furr, son of Martin Luther Furr, son of Paul P. Furr, son of Paul Furr, son of Paul Furr, son of Heinrich Furrer.
After thoroughly enjoying OUR STORY, I decided to revise the manuscript in an attempt to retain the flavor of the original but also to add new and, hopefully, interesting information. For example, I added information related to Confederate Civil War Furrs. Any errors resulting from these changes are solely my own.
If you enjoyed reading OUR STORY and would like to correct or add to the information presented, please write me at the address below. I have also captured most of the genealogical information I have collected in a computer program called Family Origins by Parsons Technology. This program supports the Genealogical Data Communication (GEDCOM) file format. If you would like to share genealogical databases, please contact me at the address below.
William Frazier Furr
75 Oldfield Circle
Montgomery, AL 36117
February 8, 1994
Revised December 28, 1995
William Frazier Furr is the son of Marion Hansell Furr, son of Esta "S" Furr, son of William Meek Furr, son of Allison Furr, son of John Furr, son of Henry Furr, son of Heinrich Furrer.
"Furr" is the Anglicized version of the Germanic name, "Furrer," which means a "leader" or a "guide." The quotation in Rietstap's Armorial General describing the Furrer coat of arms reads:
D'azur a une fleur-de-lis d'or, soutenue d'un terte de trois coupeaux de sin.
A blue shield with one gold fleur-de-lis rising from a green mound with three points.
It further states that above the shield and helmet is a crest of one gold fleur-de-lis. There is no motto stated for this coat of arms.
We are of Swiss origin, our ancestors having lived in the area of Lucerne, Switzerland. They spelled their name "Furrer" before leaving Switzerland and after arriving in the New World. However, the area in which they settled was under the control of King George of England, and the British took the liberty of shortening our name to "Furr" on all legal documents and references.
As later generations of Furrers learned to speak and write English, the Anglo-Saxon spelling was accepted, and "Furr" has stuck with us to this day.
OUR SWISS IMMIGRANTS
The Swiss were adventuresome people and were very interested in the New World, especially Carolina and Pennsylvania. They established settlements in both areas. The Pennsylvania area prospered and became by far the largest settlement of Swiss immigrants in early America.
In 1732, Jean Pierre Purry, who was said to have been a Director-General of the French East India Company, sent several hundred Swiss immigrants to settle about 28 miles north of Savannah, Georgia, in what is now South Carolina. By 1739, Purry had sent over approximately 600 colonists. They named the settlement Purrysburgh.
The colony was soon found to be in an unhealthy area. The colonists died in epidemic proportions and were buried in unmarked graves in a large graveyard near the settlement.
The surviving inhabitants began moving away, leaving the colony completely abandoned, some half-century after it was founded. There is no Purrysburg on the map today, however, about 30 miles north of Savannah near Interstate 95 is the small town of Switzerland.
In the 1730's and 1740's, there were so many Swiss citizens becoming interested in the New World and leaving their native country that in 1744 the Swiss government became alarmed and issued mandates and decrees against immigration.
Further, they sent circular letters to the local authorities of each district demanding the name, date of birth, and date of departure of every man, woman, and child who left the country between 1734 and 1744 for the purpose of going to Carolina or Pennsylvania. The district authorities obtained this information from the individual parish pastors, who kept such records.
The original lists of Swiss immigrants in the eighteenth century to the American colonies can still be found in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and the Swiss Archives in Zurich, Switzerland. According to a letter from the Swiss Record Office of the County of Zurich dated December 23, 1987 to Mary Ann Plumeri of Las Vegas, Nevada, some of the information is this book is incorrect.
On July 6, 1727, in the Parish of Zell, Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland, a son was born to Leonhard Furrer and his wife Babelj Zuppinger. They named him Heinrich, after his uncle who was Leonhard's brother.
Heinrich was born and grew up in the very midst of the great Swiss immigration to the New World. It was truly the subject of conversation throughout his formative years. He heard his father, Uncle Heinrich, and Uncle Ulrich exchange tales of the land that lay just beyond the ocean.
After much contemplation, Leonhard Furrer, age 46, together with his wife, Babelj Zuppinger, age 46, and his two sons, Heinrich, age 16, and Hans Rudolff, age 6, decided to leave the parish of Zell, Canton of Lucerne. On August 29, 1734, against all warnings of their friends and parish pastor, and against all petitions of their government officials, they sailed Switzerland. In 1738, they immigrated to America. Oral tradition has them landing in Charleston, South Carolina. However, according to the Swiss Record Office of the County Of Zurich, they arrived on the ship Jamaica Gallery in Philadelphia and were sworn in on February 7, 1739.
In the spring of 1743, fearing that the government would soon put an end to immigration altogether, Uncle Heinrich decided to move his family to Carolina. In May of 1743, Heinrich Furrer, age 52, his wife, Susanna Baumann, age 51, and six of their seven children (Felix, age 23, Hans Jacob, age 21, Susanna, age 19, Hans Felix, age 14, Anna Maria, age 12, and Barbara, age 8) departed their native country from Zurich. Ulrich, about 23, the son of Uncle Ulrich, went with them.
Uncle Heinrich's oldest son, Hans, age 26, who was in service with the Dutch army, chose to remain in Europe although his father wrote to him from Rotterdam that he should also make the journey with them. Therefore, the descendants of Hans Furrer, born October 10, 1717 of Heinrich Furrer and Susanna Baumann, are our closest known relatives in Europe. Uncle Heinrich and his family entered America at Charleston and proceeded to the Swiss settlement at Purrysburg by wagon, where they settled in with hundreds of their countrymen.
OUR LONG JOURNEY
After a tedious voyage of several weeks, Leonhard realized that the glamorous legend of adventure in the New World did not match its stark reality. When Leonhard and his family reached Charleston, they packed their belongings in a wagon and headed for the Purrysburg settlement. Traveling by wagon in these low lands was very difficult, since they had to go around the many inlets in the Charleston-Beaufort area instead of in a straight line to the colony. The wagon wheels often mired in the marshes.
When they reached Purrysburg they found not a "Promised Land," but a crowded settlement in the marshlands where hot, humid summers brought droves of mosquitoes from the stagnant waters of the surrounding swamps. But the immigrants clung together in Purrysburg because they were all of one kind, Swiss, in an English New World.
As the celebrated dream of freedom and prosperity dimmed in the colony, there was much talk about how their Swiss brothers had fared in Pennsylvania. Then the faded dream turned into a nightmare when the crowded unhealthy conditions, the hot humid climate, and the mosquitoes, brought about an epidemic of "fever" in the colony. The inhabitants died by the scores and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Virtually the entire Furrer clan was wiped out.
Heinrich the son of Leonhard, having lost all of his family to the "fever," set out on his own for Pennsylvania. Directly north of Purrysburg lay the large German settlement of Orangeburg. Heinrich arrived there in the late 1740's when he was still in his teens. He remained in Orangeburg and married a German girl named Russena Roffor (Rosser). He learned from the industrious Germans how to be a manager of land and money. He became a planter. In 1752, Heinrich and Russena's first son, John was born. In 1754, a second son was born whom they named Paul.
Heinrich longed for property of his own in the woodlands of Pennsylvania and by 1757 he had accumulated enough wealth to move his family and make a new start. Also by this time Russena was expecting another child. He plotted his course for Pennsylvania, packed his wagon and left Orangeburg in the winter of 1757 traveling through the Congaree and Wateree settlements and on northward.
When he reached Cold Water Creek in the Province of Anson in the Spring of 1758, Russena delivered him another son who they named Leonard. Now Heinrich had a five-year-old son, a four-year-old son, an infant son, and a wife sore and weary from riding in a wagon. The waters of Cold Water Creek were full of fish, the fields abounded with game, the earth was rich and perfect for planting, and the weather was mild. Heinrich felled the trees, cleared the land, built a shelter, and made a permanent home for his family. At last, Heinrich Furrer now 30 years old, having left Switzerland in 1734 and traveled over half of his life, brought our long journey to an end.
For the next three years, Heinrich planted and tended the land on the Cold Water and Dutch Buffalo Creeks, about one mile from what is now the town of Georgeville in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.
In 1762, the British sub-divided Anson Province into counties. The Dutch Buffalo Creek area became a part of Mecklenburg County. In 1792, Cabarrus County was cut from Mecklenburg, so today, Dutch Buffalo Creek runs through the heart of Cabarrus County.
When the British sub-divided Anson Province, they offered the land for sale to its original settlers. Heinrich, together with his neighbors, Paul Barringer and Valentine Weaver, went to Arthur Dobbs, the Governor of the Province of North Carolina, in the summer of 1762 seeking to be granted the privilege of purchasing their land.
Arthur Dobbs, being a rather proper Englishman, required over 1,000 words to complete the land grant for Heinrich Furrer, who he referred to as "Henry Furr." The following are excerpts from this lengthy document.
Arthur Dobbs (Gov.) to Henry Furr
Book 6 page 161
This indenture made twenty-fourth day of June in the second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the grace of God King of Great Brittain &C and in the year of our Lord 1762 between his Excellency Arthur Dobbs, Esq. Captain General Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina of the one part and Henry Furr of the County of Anson in the Province aforesaid planter of the other part witnesseth that the SD Arthur Dobbs for and in consideration of the sum of thirty two pounds one shilling and four pence proclamation money to him in hand paid by the said Henry Furr at and before the ensealing and delivery hereof the receipt whereof he the said Arthur Dobbs doth hereby acknowledge both granted, bargained sold aliened, enfoeffed and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien enfoeff and confirm unto the said Henry Furr and his heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land containing by survey three hundred and one acres and being in the SD County of Anson and beginning at a white oak on Dutch Buffalo Creek . . . .
In witness whereof the parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first above written. Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Martin Phifer, WM. Powell.
Received 24 June 1763 from the within named thirty two pounds one shilling and four pence proclamation money being the consideration money within mentioned.
So Heinrich was granted the full rights to, and enjoyment of, the 301 acres of land on Dutch Buffalo Creek where he lived in exchange for 32 pounds, one shilling, and four pence and an annual tax rate of four shillings per hundred acres. (And 1/5 of any gold or silver and 1/10 of any other minerals found on the land). His name was entered on the tax list. In 1767, Heinrich purchased an additional 186 acres adjoining the original tract. He paid Arthur Dobbs in proclamation money, which was used in the colonies in lieu of silver. On September 22, 1763, Heinrich became a naturalized American citizen in Rowan County.
The Lord and the land were good to Heinrich. Over the next seven years, he prospered on these excellent farming, hunting, and fishing lands. He bought slaves from slavers in Charleston and turned his homestead into a plantation estate; thus, he prospered financially as well. He and Russena were blessed with six more children in the span of these seven years. Henry was born in 1762, Jacob in 1763, Mary in 1764, Catherine in 1765, Tobias in 1766, and Adam in 1767.
Heinrich and Russena were religious people. Heinrich received his religious training in his native Switzerland where over half of the people were Protestants. They credited God for their fortune and reared their children in the Lutheran faith.
But nothing lasts forever, and all good things soon come to an end. It came all too soon for Heinrich. In the late summer of 1769, he fell ill. The "fever" sapped his strength and vitality. He knew his time was at hand, and that he was to suffer the same fate that took his father, mother, and brother only a score of years before. From his sick bed, he summoned his wife, Russena, and his friends, Paul Barringer and Valentine Weaver, to him. Paul Barringer brought his son-in-law, John Phifer, who later became a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and a Colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. With their help, he prepared the following will:
Will of Henry Forror (Furrer)
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Book C, Page 57
In the Name of God amen. September twenty-seven one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine. I, Henry Forror, being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto god therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all people once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. First of all my debts to be paid.
Item. I give devise and bequeth unto my eldest and loveing son John Forror the land together with the improvements whereon I now live only that I first order the plantation to be valued by three freeholders and the valuation to be devided eaqually among each and every of my childering and after he the said John Forror have his share of the valuation allowed to him he is to pay to the rest of my childering their shares of the valuation as they come of ages.
Item. I give devise and bequeth unto my second and loveing son Paul Forror . . . lying between my lands and Paul Berring . . . . I first order that the land be valued by three freeholders and the valuation to devided eaqually among each and every of my childering and after the said Paul Forror having his share of the valuation allowed to him he is to pay the rest of my childering their shares of the valuation as they come of ages.
Item. I give and bequeth unto my loveing wife the third part of my personal estate only that I order that all my goods and chattels be sold at public auction and eaqually devided among each and every of my childering after my wife has her third.
In testament where of I the testator Henry Forrer have hereunto set my hand and seal of and for my last will and testament and I do here by nominate and appoint my loveing wife Rossena Roffor and my trusty friend Valentine Weaver the sole executors of this my last will and testament the day and year above written.
Signed sealed and published by the testator as and for his last will and testament. In the presence of us who subscribed as witnesses
Heinrich signed the will with his own hand in Germanic script. John was 17 and Paul was 15 when the will was drafted and were the only children to be considered "of age" at the time. Heinrich needed to insure that his plantation would continue, that his survivors would have a living, and that the land would remain in his family. So he willed the original homestead and tract of land to his eldest son John. His additional tract of land between his original homestead and Paul Barringer's land, he willed to his second son Paul.
Being an extremely fair man, he made equal provisions for all of his children. He charged John and Paul to pay an equal valuation of the property that they received to each and every child as they came of age. He willed no land to his wife. Instead, he directed that his personal estate be sold at auction and 1/3 of the value be given to her, the remaining 2/3 of the value to be divided equally among all nine of his children. As the provisions of his will indicate, Heinrich Furrer was an intelligent, fair-minded, yet pragmatic man.
On the back of this original will in John Phifer's handwriting is a curious entry that appears to be an afterthought of the will:
Be it known unto all men by these present that I Henry Forror of Mecklenburg County and Province of North Carolina having made this my last will and testament in writing bearing date the twenty second of September one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine I the said Henry Forror do by these presents contained in this codicil confirm and declare this my last will and testament and do give and bequeth unto my loveing wife Rossena Forror one Negro man named Peter and a Negro woman named Dina during all the time she does remain a widow or keep single and in case she should get married . . . by such sale is to be devided eaqually among all of my childering and she is likewise to have her third of the same and my will and meaning is that this codicil or schedule be part and parcel of my last will and testament and that all things therein contained and mentioned by faithfully performed in as full and ample a manner in every respect as if the same were so declared and set down in my said will in witness there of I the said Henry Forror have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty sixth day of September one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine.
Heinrich also signed this provision in his own hand, again in Germanic script. A very short time later, Heinrich Furrer, only 38 years of age, died having found the American dream, lost it, and found it again. He was laid to rest in his own beloved ground on the north bank of Dutch Buffalo Creek near the Teeter Bridge only a few miles from Cold Water Creek. His grave was marked with a three-foot long slab of natural granite stone. In the stone was scratched the date "1779."
Russena did indeed keep single for the remainder of her days, living with her eldest son, John, in the original family home when she died. She was buried at her husband's side, and her grave was marked with a smaller granite stone, the writing on which has become unintelligible.
In 1954, the descendants of Heinrich and Russena Furrer erected a monument in their honor near their original graves.
OUR FIRST FAMILY
The children of Heinrich and Russena were the first family of Furrers born in America. They were also the first to go by the name of "Furr."
The Furrer family held to a tradition of naming children not only after their fathers as we do, but after their uncles, cousins, or even brothers as well. This, in combination with large families, made it common for a Henry to have sons named Henry, Paul, and John, and a John to have sons named John, Henry, and Paul, and a Paul to have sons named Paul, John, and Henry.
In fact, all of the names of our first family were used throughout the early generations of Furr's so repeatedly that in order to avoid the obvious confusion, I have designated the "I" to each of the children of Heinrich and Russena.
JOHN I (1752 - 1827)
Came to North Carolina with his parents in 1758 when he was six years old. He inherited the original Furrer homestead on Dutch Buffalo Creek in 1769 when he was only 17. He continued working it and expanded the plantation right away. He was a religious man of the Lutheran faith. John I married in the mid 1770's. His first wife died after delivering him two sons: Henry, born in May of 1777 and John, born in March of 1779. He then married Catherine Sivily in 1783. They had six children: Rachael, Polly, George, Sally, Tobias, and Jacob. His first two sons and his first daughter intermarried with the Stallings family. On April 18, 1796, he paid seven pounds and two shillings for lot #2 in the southwest square of Concord, North Carolina. He owned 314 acres in Cabarrus County and 826 acres in Stanly County. He was a very good planter. When he was 75 years old, he was poisoned by a servant. Since he left no will, his land was divided among his children by court ruling. He was buried in what was to become the Furrer graveyard, near the John Teeter farm. A slate rock stone with no inscription marks his grave.
PAUL I (1754 - 1837)
Also came to North Carolina with his parents in 1758. He was four years old at the time. Paul I inherited his land in 1769 when he was only 15 years old. He identified this land in his own will as the land "I hired of my father." He was also known as "Barefoot Paul" and by later generations as "Paul of All." He married young, but his first wife died shortly thereafter. His second wife was Mary Stutts whom he married in 1774. Paul I and his wife, Mary, were both very industrious. He was known as a man of great energy and good judgment, and she was known for her strong, forceful personality. They were Lutherans by faith, farmers by trade and Democratic in political matters. They reared a family of 11 children: Paul, Henry, Leonard, Jacob, Daniel, Noah, Rosena, Catherine, Polly, Sally and Elizabeth. Paul I wrote his will two years before his death at the age 83. At this time, he owned 23 slaves, 1,342 acres of land, and a large amount of cash. Mary outlived him by 11 years before dying at the age of 85. She had obtained property of her own and, therefore, she also left a will. This was very rare in that day and age. They are both buried on a one-acre plot surrounded by a stone wall on her estate, less than one mile from Heinrich and Russena's graves on Dutch Buffalo Creek.
LEONARD I (1758 - 1835)
Was the first Furrer born in North Carolina. Since he was born at the same time his family arrived at Cold Water Creek, his infancy may have been a major factor in his father's decision to remain there. With this in mind, it is ironic to note that all but one of his children left North Carolina to settle elsewhere, and in later life he himself moved to Mississippi. Leonard I was only 11 years old when his father died in 1769. Although he received an equal value of the estate, he did not inherit any land. He purchased land in Moore County and farmed it. He married Elizabeth Stutts, sister of Paul I's second wife, Mary Stutts. They had eight children: Leonard, Elizabeth, Jacob, Paul, Henry, Christian, Isham, and Mary. While Leonard II remained in North Carolina, Paul left for Georgia, and the rest of the children moved to Mississippi. Sometime after 1810, Leonard I moved to Mississippi where he died at the age of 77. He was buried in Copiah County near Allen, Mississippi.
HENRY I (1762 - 1851)
Was born the same year his father received the land grant from King George of England, through the Governor of the Province of North Carolina, Arthur Dobbs. Henry I was only seven years old when his father died in 1769. He spent his formative years on the family plantation. He liked to spend time around the old Bost's Mill. He grew up to be a energetic young man with a vigorous personality.
Henry I was an ardent patriot, and on May 1, 1779, joined the Continental Army, giving his age as 21 and his birth date as 1758. He was, of course, only 17 years old at the time. He enlisted in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, and served as a Private in Captain Carrigan's Company, a part of Colonel McDowell's Regiment. He was then reassigned to Colonel Malmedy and fought in several skirmishes. In August of 1779, he was discharged. On November 4, 1779, it was ordered by the Court that Henry Furr, the orphan of Heinrich Furrer, be bound to Conrad Bream for two years and ten months to learn the trade of a turner and a spinning wheel maker. The master was to provide a set of tools for his apprentice. The trade of a turner was not for Henry I, so in March of 1780 he broke his bond with Conrad Bream and re-enlisted in the Army. He was promoted to Sergeant and served for four months with Captain Peter Faust's Company, Colonel Locke's North Carolina Regiment. The Company stood guard duty in Salisbury. In July of 1780, Henry I re-enlisted again in Captain Craig's Company of Cavalry. He joined to aid in chasing Tories out of the county. This assignment lasted two weeks. He then returned and served as a minuteman in Captain Faust's Company again. For a period of three months, he took part in scouting parties, being away from Salisbury for two weeks at a time. He was discharged for the last time in April 1781.
Shortly after his discharge from the Army, Henry I married Catherine Wiser in Salisbury. They had eight children: Elizabeth, John, Rachael, Rosena, Sophia, Henry, Daniel, and Tobias. Two of his daughters intermarried with the Eagle family. On April 18, 1796, he paid seven pounds and two shillings for lot #2 in the northeast square of Concord, North Carolina. He sold this lot on September 14, 1797 for 18 pounds. Henry I was a family man. In 1794, he became guardian for Henry, the orphan of his brother Jacob. In 1796, he became guardian for Paul and Solomon, orphans of his sister Catherine. In 1798, he became guardian for George, a third orphan of his sister Catherine. In all, he reared 13 children, nine sons and daughters and four nephews. In 1783, he was the bondsman for his sister Mary's wedding.
Henry I was also a great civic leader and a fluent speaker. At one Fourth of July celebration, he was called upon to give an oration. His wife Catherine Wiser died after their children were grown. Not one to live alone, Henry I married Catherine Goodman in September of 1826. He was 64 years old at the time and she was 32. He was exactly twice her age; however, he was still a vibrant man because the next year Catherine gave birth to a daughter whom they named Elizabeth Caroline after his first daughter who had died sometime before 1810. In 1834, they had another child, a son this time whom they named Paul M. On November 19, 1832, at the age of 70, Henry I applied for and received a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. He wrote his will on February 2, 1846 when he was 84 years old. He willed his entire fortune of $200 to the heirs of his second son and namesake. His first son, John, died in 1837. Henry I was the last surviving soldier of the Revolutionary War living in Cabarrus County. He was virtually penniless and living off his pension. His widow, Catherine, only 57 years old at his death, continued to receive his pension after she reached age 60. On December 21, 1851 this dynamic maverick of a man, who did so much for his family and fellow countrymen, died at the age of 89.
JACOB I (1763 - 1794)
Was only six years old when his father died. He grew up on the family plantation, married Catherine Mitchell, and had four children: Mary, Elizabeth, Rosina, and Henry. However, he did not enjoy the longevity that some of his brothers did. He died at the age of 31. The court ordered that his orphan, Henry, be hired to his uncle, Henry I, until reaching the age of 21.
MARY I (1764 - 1800)
Was five years old at the time of her father's death. She married Martin Rindleman in 1783 and had two children: John and Henry. She died at the age of 36. Martin then married Experience Harris and moved to Illinois in 1830.
CATHERINE I (1765 - 1797)
Was four years old when her father died. She married John Aaronhart and bore him six sons: Paul, Solomon, John, George, Peter, and James. John Aaronhart died in 1795. Catherine died two years later at the age of 32. Henry I became guardian of their first two sons, Paul and Solomon, in August of 1796. Tobias I became guardian of the other four sons in August of 1797, and Adam I became the administrator of the estate in 1798. In 1797, Tobias I died and Henry I became guardian of George and Moses Brown became guardian of John, Peter, and James.
TOBIAS I (1766 - 1797)
Was three years old at the time of his father's death. He lived and died in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married Barbara Smith in Salisbury in 1790 and had three daughters: Mary, Elizabeth, and Louisa. In 1797, he became the guardian of four of his deceased sister Catherine I's sons. However, he died the same year at the age of 31. Tobias I is buried in an unmarked grave in St. John's Cemetery in Salisbury. His widow, Barbara, then married Jerimiah Brown who was made guardian to her three daughters. His brother, Moses, became guardian to three of Catherine I's sons. Henry I took the other son. All three daughters of Tobias I and Barbara Smith married merchants in Salisbury.
ADAM I (1767 - ?)
Was an infant when his father died. He was the last of the nine children of Heinrich and Russena Furrer. The only thing that is known about him is that he became administrator of his deceased sister Catherine's estate in 1798. There is no record of his marriage, children, or death. It is speculated that he was unmarried and died at an early age as did four of his brothers and sisters.
The children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of the first family continue OUR STORY. This chapter is a synopsis of only a few of our more interesting predecessors who were born prior to the Twentieth Century.
DESCENDANTS OF JOHN I
The descendants of John I were mostly farmers by trade and Baptists by faith. They practically settled Stanly County all by themselves. Many of them had large families and as a rule lived to be over 70 years of age. The descendants of John I intermarried with the Stallings family. The earlier descendants are buried in the Furrer graveyard on Dutch Buffalo Creek near the Teeter Farm. Many later descendants were buried in Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Stanly County.
SONS OF JOHN I
HENRY FURR (1777 - 1846)
First of two sons born to John I and his first wife (name unknown). He married Rhoda Stallings in 1802. They had seven children. They were buried in the Furr family graveyard near the Teeter Farm. Their tombstones are slabs of slate rock, which abound in the vicinity. On Rhoda Furr's stone is carved, "I don this in memory of mother. P.S. Furr."
JOHN FURR (1779 - 1847)
Second of two sons born to John I and his first wife. He married Rhoda Stallings' sister Abigail in 1800. They had also had seven children. Three of his children married Eudys. John and Abigail were buried in the old Furr graveyard that is on a farm once owned by Maryland C. Furr near Bear Creek Baptist Church.
GRANDSONS OF JOHN I
ESQUIRE JOHN FURR (1807 - 1888)
Son of John, was a prominent civic leader and Justice of the Peace. He was instrumental in having Stanly County separated from Montgomery County in 1841 and was the first representative to the State Legislature from Stanly County. He married Beneeta Burris. They had 13 children. When he died at the age of 81, he was buried in Bear Creek Church Cemetery.
PAUL "S" FURR (1809 - 1864)
Son of Henry, operated a huge farm one mile from Bear Creek Church. He married Sarah Howard (Harwood) in 1832. They had 16 children. He believed in having sons to work the farm, not slaves. Four of his sons served in the Civil War. He added an "S" to his name himself, so he could be distinguished from all of his other relatives named Paul. He was buried in the Bear Creek Church Cemetery.
DR. SOLOMON FURR (1822 - 1895)
Son of Henry, was a noted medical doctor in the Stanly County area. He married the widow Jane Cox Wilhelm. They had no children. He was elected Second Lieutenant Company B, 7th North Carolina Infantry on May 16, 1861 and First Lieutenant on June 27, 1862. He was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, and resigned because of ill health on January 11, 1863. He was a member of the Masonic order when he died at the age of 73. His grave is in the Furr family graveyard near the Teeter Farm.
GREAT GRANDSONS OF JOHN I
WILLIAM EBAN (JOSH) FURR (1832 - 1916)
Son of Esquire John, he was a most prolific individual siring 20 children, 10 by each of two wives. He married his second cousin Malinda Furr, daughter of Paul "S" Furr. After she died, he married Elizabeth Dunn. He enlisted as a Private in Company F, 5th North Carolina Infantry on August 8, 1862. He was wounded in the head and knee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863 and returned to his Company on November 19, 1863. He was wounded again this time in the arm at the Battle of the Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 9, 1864. He was assigned light duty in the Danville, Virginia, hospital on December 27, 1864 and remained there until the end of the war. He and his second wife are buried at the Bear Creek Church Cemetery.
ISRAEL FURR (1833 - 1863)
Son of Paul "S," married Margaret Scott and had five children. He enlisted on September 3, 1862 as a Private in Company C, 23rd North Carolina Infantry. He died in Hanover Junction, Virginia, on January 31, 1863, of pneumonia.
FARRENTON FURR (1835 - 1916)
Son of Paul "S," was a farmer before the Civil War. He enlisted on September 7, 1861 as a Private in Company K, 28th North Carolina Infantry. He was wounded in the side and right arm at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, on August 9, 1862 and was granted a disability discharge on April 18, 1863. He married his second cousin, Catherine A. Furr, daughter of Esquire John Furr, and they had eight children. He is buried in the Bear Creek Church Cemetery.
CRITTENTON FURR (1839 - 1923)
Son of Paul "S," married his second cousin Sarah Furr, daughter of Esquire John Furr. After her death, he married her sister, Beneeta Furr, in 1861. He had 12 children. On September 7, 1861, he enlisted as a Private in Company K, 28th North Carolina Infantry. He was wounded during the Seven Days' Battles in 1862 and was promoted to Sergeant in early 1863. He was captured at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, on May 12, 1864. He was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, and at Elmira, New York. He was paroled on May 29, 1865. In 1869, he moved his family to Texas. He died in Texas at the age of 84.
AARON FURR (1846 - 1920)
Son of Paul "S," was a teacher who received his education by walking four miles to school each day until he was 18 years old. He enlisted a Private in Company K, 28th North Carolina Infantry at Liberty Mills, Virginia, on February 10, 1864. He did not support the cause of slavery. On May 12, 1864, he was wounded during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. Gangrene developed in his thigh wound, and he was sent home to recuperate. He returned to the war on September 12, 1864, and was captured at Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865. He was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, and was paroled on June 26, 1865. He married Sarah L. Hatley in 1865. They had eight children. In 1877, he was appointed Justice of the Peace, a title he held for 25 years. He was also Postmaster in Bloomington, North Carolina, for 17 years. He owned a saw mill, corn mill, and cotton gin on Ramsey's Branch. When he died at the age of 74, he was buried in the Bear Creek Church Cemetery.
DESCENDANTS OF PAUL I
Descendants of Paul I were farmers and active business-minded people. They carried on the Lutheran tradition. They also tended to have large families and lived long lives. The descendants of Paul I intermarried with the Dry, Widenhouse, and Efird families; later on with the Teeter family whose land was near their farm. The earlier descendants are buried in a one acre plot bounded by a stone wall less than a mile from Heinrich and Russena Furrer's graves on Dutch Buffalo Creek.
SONS OF PAUL I
PAUL FURR II (1775 - ?)
Operated a large plantation near Locust, North Carolina. He was very wealthy and owned a large number of slaves. He married Rosinah Peck in 1803. They had eight children. His daughters intermarried with the Efird family. The date of his death is unknown. It is assumed that he lived to an old age.
DANIEL FURR (1795 - 1876)
Had a farm near Georgeville, North Carolina. He married Sophia Widenhouse in 1821. This was the first direct connection between the Furr and Widenhouse families. They had nine children. Six of his sons served in the Civil War, two of whom died and two were severely wounded. He and his wife are buried at St. Martin's Lutheran Church Cemetery near Georgeville.
GRANDSONS OF PAUL I
W. MATHIAS (TISE) FURR (1804 - 1860)
Son of Paul II, owned a large plantation and many slaves. He was a very wealthy man. He purchased for three guns one slave named Patsy, who was caught in Africa by slave traders. He married Mary (Polly) Page in 1829. They had nine children. He died at the age of 56.
PAUL P. FURR (1814 - 1876)
Son of Paul II, owned a large plantation. He was called "Cabbagehead Paul," because he had white hair, even in childhood. He married Eve Efird who was a triplet (one was named Adam, one was named Eve, and the other died in infancy). They had ten children. He died at the age of 62 and was buried at St. Martin's Church Cemetery.
ALLEN FURR (1820 - 1872)
Son of Paul II, possessed great physical strength. Reportedly, he could lift a 50 gallon keg of liquor with his bare hands and drink from the spout. He married Eva Fink of Dutch ancestry. They had five children. On June 14, 1862 at age 42 he enlisted as a Private in Company E, 4th North Carolina Cavalry. He was present and accounted for by his unit through October 1864, after which the records are lost.
MARTIN FURR (1827 - 1865)
Son of Daniel, married Mary Williams and had six children before the Civil War. He resided in Cabarrus County but enlisted in Wake County as a Private in Company C, 3rd Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery on April 8, 1863 at age 36. He was captured at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, on January 15, 1865. He was confined at Elmira, New York, where he died of typhoid fever on February 22, 1865.
ISRAEL L. FURR (1836 - 1882)
Son of Daniel, was a farmer before the Civil War. He enlisted as a Private in Company B, 7th North Carolina Infantry on June 21, 1861. He was wounded in the left hand at Reams Station, Virginia, on August 25, 1864 and reported absent from his company through October 1864. He was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 1, 1865. He married Susan C. Tucker in 1865. They had five children.
MOSES MONROE FURR (1838 - 1919)
Son of Daniel, married Abigail Barbee in 1860. On June 27, 1861, he enlisted as a Private in Company B, 7th North Carolina Infantry. He was wounded and in a hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during September-October 1864. He was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 1, 1865. After the war he became a prominent citizen, engaging successfully in farming and merchandising, and accumulating a large estate. He was a Lutheran and a liberal supporter of St. Martin's Lutheran Church. He and his wife are buried in the St. Martin's Cemetery.
WILLIAM (BILL) FURR (? - 1864)
Son of Leonard, was shot as he crossed Dutch Buffalo Creek on a foot log by Henry Plott and Sandy Smith who were members of the Home Guard. They had mistaken him for a deserter from the Confederate Army. Dr. Solomon Furr attended him, but he died in the woods where he fell. He married his second cousin, Mary Ann Furr, daughter of Henry of John I. His son, John Wilson Furr, only four years old when Bill was killed, moved to Texas when grown to avoid avenging his father's death. He later returned to Stanly County.
GREAT GRANDSONS OF PAUL I
MATHIAS WILSON FURR (1832 - 1893)
Son of Mathias Furr, may have been married as many as four times (Levina Smith--1852, Lorena Stallins--1858, Ann Motley, and Louisa P. Snuggs). He had at least three children. He enlisted on July 7, 1862 as a Private in Company E, 4th North Carolina Cavalry. His Uncle Allen Furr and brother Wilson M. Furr also belonged to this unit. He was captured near the Appomattox River, Virginia, on April 3, 1863. He was confined at Hart's Island, New York and paroled on June 19, 1865. He died at the age of 61 and is buried in the Furrer graveyard near the Teeter Farm.
LEVI (LEE) FURR (1835 - 1915)
Son of Mathias, was married three times. In 1855, he married Betsy Smith, Sarah Howell in 1892, and Hallie Green in 1911. He had 11 children all by his first wife, and he married his third wife when he was 76 years old. He died at the age of 80.
MARTIN LUTHER FURR (1842 - 1923)
Son of Paul P, enlisted as a Private in Company E, 4th North Carolina Cavalry on July 7, 1862. He was discharged some time between July 7 and October 31, 1862. In 1869, Martin Luther married Catherine Dry. They had six children. He became a successful farmer using white tenant farmers to run his self-sustaining plantation near Mount Holly, North Carolina. The plantation had its own granary, orchards, and beehives. He was a dapper dresser, preferring black silk suits to coveralls. He gave all of his children a college education, except for his eldest son who remained home to run the farm. He died a wealthy man at the age of 81.
TILMAN FURR (? - 1934)
Son of Paul P, married Lavinia Barbee in 1877. They had eight children. He gave up tobacco in order to set a good example for his children. He moved his family to Texas and later New Mexico where he died at the age of approximately 80.
DANIEL FURR (1856 - 1946)
Son of Paul P, moved to Mississippi and married. When his wife died, he moved to the State of Washington where he raised sheep. In 1892, he moved to China Grove, North Carolina, and married Ella Linker. They had four children. He then moved to Oklahoma. During his last few years, he converted to a consecrated Christian life. He died in Oklahoma at age 80.
WILLIAM R. FURR (1857 - 1937)
Son of Paul P, was a greatly loved man in Glen Alpine, North Carolina. Sixteen hundred people attended his funeral, 600 of whom were his relatives. He married Louisa Mann in 1877. They had three children. After her death, he married Augusta Fox. He died at the age of 80.
GREAT, GREAT GRANDSONS OF PAUL I
LUTHER FURR (? - ?)
Son of Levi, moved to Mt. Pleasant, Texas and fought in the Spanish-American War. His brother, James M. Furr, moved to McKinny, Texas, and his cousin, John A. Furr, moved to Wichita Falls, Texas.
ROBERT NELSON FURR (1870 - 1942)
Son of Levi, was a civic leader in Stanly County serving as its Treasurer for 17 years and as its Sheriff for two terms until 1930. He married Sallie Mann. After Robert Nelson, Robert Lee Furr was Sheriff of Stanly County for ten terms until 1946. When he retired, Paul Edward Furr, a descendant of John I, was elected Sheriff. Robert Nelson died at the age of 72.
BEECHAM ZEROBIE FURR (1875 - 1935)
Son of Martin Luther, was a mild mannered, well liked man, who was president of his class at Lenoir Rhyne College. He went on to teach public school before becoming an executive with Durham Life Insurance Company. In 1902, he married Carrie Black. They had ten children. He lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died at the age of 60.
DESCENDANTS OF LEONARD I
The descendants of Leonard I were primarily wealthy landholders and merchants in Mississippi and Georgia. They were Protestants, generally of the Baptist faith. The descendants of Leonard I intermarried with the Pierce family of Georgia. They too enjoyed large families and long lives.
SONS OF LEONARD I
PAUL FURR (1786 - 1867)
Was born in Moore County, North Carolina. He moved to Banks County, Georgia in 1811 when he was 25. Here he bought land from the Cherokee Indians along Hagan's Creek. In 1813, he was commissioned an Ensign by Peter Early, the Governor of Georgia. He joined the 374th Georgia Militia and fought in the War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans for which he later received a pension. In 1815, he married Sarah Griffith. They had 11 children. He slept on a bearskin prior to his marriage. Four of his sons and one of his grandsons fought in the Civil War and three died in that war. In 1837, his first wife died, and in 1850 he married Mahala Dobbins. He was 64 years old at the time. Dying at the age of 81, he was buried in Hall County, Georgia.
HENRY FURR (1790 - 1880)
Was born in North Carolina but moved to Mississippi. He owned a very successful plantation in Mississippi along the Little Bahala Creek. He married Mary Pierce. They had 11 children. When he died at the age of 90, his estate was valued at $40,000. Henry and his family are buried in the Henry Furr private cemetery, located east of Beauregard, Lincoln County, Mississippi.
CHRISTIAN FURR (1792 - 1850)
Was born in North Carolina but moved to Mississippi. He also owned a plantation on Little Bahala Creek. In 1812, he married Catherine Pierce. They had 13 children. So like his brother, Henry, Christian lived on Little Bahala Creek and married a Pierce. Eight of his sons and one of his grandsons fought in the Civil War and two died in that war. When he died at the age of 58, his estate which included five slaves was valued at $20,000. He is buried in the Jacob Furr Cemetery, Lincoln County, Mississippi.
ISHAM FURR (1794 - 1840)
Like his brothers Henry and Christian, was born in North Carolina and moved to Mississippi. In 1836, he bought 40 acres of land from the United States for $1.29 per acre. The land was on Fords Creek that joins Little Bahala Creek at his brother's property. He had five children and died at the age of 46. His brother Jacob was administrator of his estate.
GRANDSONS OF LEONARD I
LEONARD WASHINGTON FURR (1821 - 1863)
Son of Paul, married Parthenia Lane in 1846. They had seven children. He joined Company F, 66th Georgia Infantry as a Private on August 10, 1862. He died on February 4, 1863 at the age of 42 in Lumpkin Hospital, Covington, Georgia. He is buried in Bellton, Georgia.
STEPHEN G. FURR (1823 - 1908)
Son of Paul, married Rachel A. Gowder in 1845. They had five children. He was elected Second Lieutenant of Company F, 43rd Georgia Infantry on March 10, 1862. He contracted fever at Chattanooga, Tennessee in April 1862, which resulted in disease of the hip joint. He resigned for disability on September 10, 1862.
FRANCIS MARION FURR (1832-1863)
Son of Christian, married Ada Liza Temple in 1854. They had six children. He was a Private in Company K, 3rd Mississippi Infantry. He died while in Confederate service on April 10, 1863. He is buried in the Pierce-Furr Cemetery, Little Bahala Creek, Lincoln County, Mississippi.
AUGUSTUS C. FURR (1833 - 1863)
Son of Paul, married Nancy Terrell. They had one child. He was a Private in Company I, 26th Georgia Infantry. He died during the Civil War after a forced march at the age of 30. He was buried in Richmond, Virginia.
LOTT FURR (1834 -1862)
Son of Christian, married Martha C. Maxwell in 1858. They had four children. He was a Private in Company A, 36th Mississippi Infantry. He died while in Confederate service in Gainsville, Alabama, on June 15, 1862.
CICERO HOLT FURR (1835 - 1862)
Son of Paul, was never married. He organized the Hall County Light Guards, when he was 27 years old and was elected their Captain on March 10, 1862. They became Company F, 43rd Georgia Infantry. He died of measles in Marietta, Georgia, on April 13, 1862.
GREAT GRANDSON OF LEONARD I
WILLIAM PAUL FURR (1855 - 1940)
Son of Leonard Washington, married Mary C. Davis in 1891. They had one child. He was a veteran of World War I and died at the age of 85 in Toccoa, Georgia. Two of his grandsons served in World War II.
DESCENDANTS OF HENRY I
The descendants of Henry I were civic leaders and educators, as well as farmers and merchants. They were Protestants, generally of the Presbyterian or Methodist faiths. The descendants of Henry I intermarried with the Eagle family, who later moved to Tennessee. Some of the descendants of Henry I moved to Mississippi.
SON OF HENRY I
JOHN FURR (1786 - 1837)
Spent most of his life on a farm in No. 2 Township, Cabarrus County. He owned a number of slaves. He married Sarah (Sally) Boger in 1808. She was the daughter of Daniel Boger, who owned and operated Boger's Mill, later known as Bost's Mill. They had 11 children. His home was restored by a descendant and named by that descendant "FURRLEE." John and Sarah were buried in the Popular Tent Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
GRANDSONS OF HENRY I
ALLISON FURR (1809 - 1889)
Son of John, was born in North Carolina. In 1834, he married Hessie Black. They had three children. In 1843, he married Mary Ann Susan Means. They had four children. He moved his family to Toccopola, Mississippi in 1846 but returned to Concord, North Carolina. He went back to Mississippi together with his brother Tobias in two covered wagons in 1848. This time he built a two-story log house on the land he purchased from the Indians. After his second wife's death, he married the widow Waddell. They had one child who died in infancy. After her death, he married Kate Carpenter. They had four children. All of these latter children moved from Mississippi to West Texas. He may also have married Clemintine Rinehardt. In all, he had five wives and 12 children. Allison was buried in Old Lebanon Cemetery in Toccopola.
SAMUEL MONROE FURR (1828 - 1918)
Son of John, was born in Cabarrus County and moved to Rowan County at the age of 22 where he operated a successful plantation. He owned a number of slaves. He served as a Captain of the Home Guard during the Civil War. He married Margaret Hill in 1850. They had one child. After her death, he married Martha Lucilla McNeely. They had eight children. He retired and moved to Mocksville, North Carolina, in 1902 and died at the age of 90.
TOBIAS FURR (1817 - 1882)
Son of John, opened the first store in Toccopola, Mississippi and set up the first water mill for grinding wheat and corn. He married Rachel Morgan in 1838. They had ten children. He bought the plantation named "Prides Mill" in Toccopola.
GREAT GRANDSONS OF HENRY I
WILLIAM MEEK FURR (1840 - 1906)
Son of Allison, was born in Concord, North Carolina, but moved to Toccopola, Mississippi, when he was six years old. He enlisted in 1861 (together with his cousin Junius Cicero Furr, son of Tobias Furr and Rachel Morgan) in Company E, 19th Mississippi Infantry, Featherston/Posey/Harris' Brigade. Their regiment demonstrated extraordinary valor at the "Bloody Angle" during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse and at Fort Gregg during the last defense of Petersburg. William Meek was taken prisoner on April 26, 1863 at Germanna Bridge, Virginia, and was taken to the Old Capitol Prison, Washington, DC. He was paroled on May 10, 1863 at City Point, Virginia, and returned to his unit. Except for this brief break, both William Meek and Junius Cicero served continuously until forced to surrender with the rest of General Lee's Army at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865. Returning home, William Meek married Mary Haseltine Pickens in December 1865. They had 11 children and provided all of them with a university education. William Meek was a farmer, merchant, and civic leader. He was one of the first directors of the Merchants & Farmers Bank in Pontotoc, Mississippi. He was very active in the Methodist church serving as the Sunday school superintendent at the time of his death. He was also a loyal Mason and loved the principles taught by that ancient fraternity. He died at the age of 66 in the arms of one of his sons while helping to remove furniture from his burning two-story frame house. William Meek and his wife were buried in the Old Lebanon Cemetery.
JAMES STACY FURR (1845 - 1934)
Son of Allison, was born in North Carolina. He served together with his brother, John Simpson Furr, as a Private in Company A, 2nd Mississippi Calvary. He married Mary Ellen Morrison in 1867. They had ten children. After the Civil War, he moved to Lafayette County, Mississippi. He was a farmer, tanner, and road contractor. He also served as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church He is buried in Hopewell Cemetery, Lafayette County, Mississippi.
PAUL BARRINGER FURR (1857 - 1950)
Son of Allison, married Martha Watson in 1883. They had eight children. He married Mattie Mays King in 1930 when he was 73. He was a merchant in Oxford, Mississippi for 46 years. He was an extremely active churchman serving as Trustee of the Methodist church for 70 years. He was a Master Mason and "Past Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star." He was a District Court Judge for 25 years and was still serving in that capacity and walking to work every day when he died at the age of 93. He was buried in Oxford, Mississippi.
HENRY BYRON FURR (1869 - 1945)
Son of Allison, was a teacher, realtor, bank president, and oil millionaire. He lost his wealth in the great bank crash of the 1920's. He lived out his days in Breckenridge, Texas, and died at the age of 76.
THORNWELL GIBSON FURR (1884 - ?)
Son of Samuel Monroe, lived in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was a thorough and exact scholar of many branches of the law. He worked his way through the University of North Carolina Law School by teaching. He graduated in 1907. He was a well-known municipal judge in Salisbury.
GREAT, GREAT GRANDSONS OF HENRY I
DR. ESTA "S" FURR (1883-1939)
Son of William Meek, was born in Toccopola, Mississippi, and married Lottie Winnafred Hansell in 1920. They had four children: William Frazier (killed, World War II), Esta Stanley (Methodist minister), Marion Hansell (Air Force major and high school math teacher), and Richard Theron (doctor of internal medicine). While a freshman at the University of Mississippi, Esta added the "S" to his name to avoid having to answer the roll call during student assemblies in Fulton Chapel with only the initial "E." He attended Atlanta Dental College (now part of Emory University) and earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He set up his dental practice in Aberdeen, Mississippi, and raised his family there. He was a Mason, Shriner, and Steward in the Methodist church. After his death, his wife remained in Aberdeen until her own death in 1985. Both are buried in the Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Aberdeen.
DR. JAMES EDWARD FURR (1892 - 1949)
Son of James Stacy, was born in Oxford, Mississippi, and married Jessie Mae Chrestman in 1921. They had no children. He was a very distinguished physician, becoming a member of one medical fraternity, six county medical societies, as well as the Mississippi, Southern, and American Medical Associations. He was listed in "Who's Important in Medicine" and the "Biographical Encyclopedia of the World." He was active in the Presbyterian Church. His greatest achievement was building the Marks Hospital in Marks, Mississippi, where he died at the age of 57.
DESCENDANTS OF JACOB I
The descendants of Jacob I moved first to South Carolina and then to Alabama. Two of Jacob I's daughters married and presumably stayed in North Carolina. Rosina married Peter Overcash in 1801, and Elizabeth married a German named Frederick Josey in 1803. We do not know who Mary may have married or what became of her. However, Jacob I's only male heir, Henry, moved to and raised his family in South Carolina. Henry's only male heir, Enoch, moved to and raised his family in Alabama. Many of Jacob I's descendants still live in Alabama.
SON OF JACOB I
HENRY FURR (1779 - 1836)
Moved sometime before June 30, 1804 to Newberry, South Carolina., which is about 150 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. There he married Catherine LeCrown (LeGronne or LaGrone), a native of Newberry, and raised his family. He had three children: Enoch, Mary, and Susannah Catherine. After his first wife died in 1831, he married again. His second wife's name was Elizabeth (last name unknown). He died at age 57 and is buried together with his first wife in the Scott Family Cemetery in Abbeville County, South Carolina.
GRANDSON OF JACOB I
ENOCH FURR (1807 - 1854)
Son of Henry, was born in Newberry, South Carolina, and married Mary Hollingshead, a native of Newberry. Sometime after 1834, he moved to Crenshaw County, Alabama. All but one of his children, Henry, were born in Alabama. He had eight children: Henry, John, Pinckney F., Franklin, Mary, William Coleman, Maria, and Enoch Taylor. At least three of his sons served in the Civil War.
GREAT GRANDSON OF JACOB I
WILLIAM COLEMAN FURR (1846 - 1918)
Son of Enoch, was born in Alabama and married Lougenia (Eugenia) Bodiford, a native of Bradleyton, Crenshaw County, Alabama. They had 14 children including two sets of twins. The first set of twins died at three months of age. William Coleman enlisted as a Private in Company A, 14th Alabama Infantry on May 15, 1863 at age 17. He was paroled on April 15, 1865. He died at age 72 and is buried in Providence Cemetery, Crenshaw County, Alabama.
DESCENDANTS OF OTHER FIRST GENERATION FURRS
Elizabeth I, Mary I, and Catherine I married, therefore, their descendants were not Furrs. Their children were Smiths, Rindlemans, and Aaronharts.
Tobias I had three daughters and no sons. So, like his two sisters, he had no Furr descendants. His daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Lemby and had two children. His daughter Mary married John Murphy and had five children. His daughter Louisa married William Henry Horah and had 12 children.
Adam I had no children and therefore, no descendants.
Information concerning our family's past was handed down from generation to generation, mostly by word of mouth. This condition fostered several misconceptions. However, in the light of the following documents some of these misconceptions can be clarified at last.
Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, compiled and edited by Albert B. Faust and Gaius M. Brumbaugh, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968 (Located in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC).
The original land grant from Arthur Dobbs to Henry Furr in 1762 (Located in the Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC).
The original will of Heinrich Furrer in 1769 (Located in the Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC).
There is a tradition that the name Furr was once spelled "Fehr" or "Furh" or "Efar." This misconception came about because everyone knew that our ancestor's name had been changed. But after several generations, very few people could recall what it used to be. The Lists of Swiss Immigrants and the Will of Heinrich Furrer show very clearly that our name was originally spelled "Furrer."
The Furr coat of arms has been represented by some sources as "a tree with green leaves on a white shield." This misconception arose from using the erroneous name of "Efar" to research the coat of arms. "Efar" is a Welsh name. The coat of arms of the "Furrer" name is "a blue shield with a gold fleur-de-lis resting on a green three-pointed mound." It is significant to note that at one time Switzerland was occupied by the French, and that French is still one of their four national languages. This accounts for the fleur-de-lis on our coat of arms. In fact, the Armorial General and its supplementary illustrations by J.B. Rietstap (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1965) shows three Furrer coat of arms from Switzerland: the one discussed above from the city of Winterthur in the Canton of Zurich, a second from Winterthur depicting a shoe or boot pierced by an arrow, and a third from Sion in the Canton of Valais depicting an anchor with two stars. The Dictionnaire Historique & Biographique de la Suisse discussed in the next section contains two additional Swiss Furrer coats of arms. One is from the Canton of Berne depicting a blue field crossed with gold accompanied by three stars. Another is from the Canton of Uri chiefly of blue with three stars and six rays of gold depicting two bears supporting a fir tree and holding swords.
There is a widespread misconception that the Furrs are of German origin. This probably came about because Heinrich wrote in German script and spoke Swiss-German, which is the native language of the Canton where he was born. Russena was probably of German heritage. It is obvious from the Lists of Swiss Immigrants that our origin is Swiss.
There has been some confusion over which Heinrich Furrer, the one born in 1691, or the one born in 1731, first settled in North Carolina. The Heinrich born in 1691 would have had to sire six children while he was in his seventies to qualify. Heinrich, born in 1727 to Leonhard Furrer and Babelj Zuppinger was certainly the man who founded the Furr family in North Carolina and other states and wrote his will in 1769.
There is a tradition that two brothers from Pennsylvania founded the Furr family in North Carolina. This misconception probably came about because two brothers, John and Paul, came to North Carolina with their parents, Heinrich and Russena, who were on their way to Pennsylvania. There is only one land grant on record to one man, and that is Heinrich Furrer. However, according to a letter from the Swiss Record Office of the County of Zurich dated December 23, 1987 to Mary Ann Plumeri of Las Vegas, Nevada, Heinrich and his family arrived on the ship Jamaica Gallery in Philadelphia and were sworn in on February 7, 1739 together with his brother, Hans Rudolff.
There is a story that Heinrich Furrer settled in several places in North Carolina before the Cold Water, Dutch Buffalo Creek areas. This error came about because the name of the County changed from Anson to Mecklenburg to Cabarrus. However, the land did not change. The land that Heinrich first settled in 1758 was the same land that he was granted in 1762, and the same land on which he died in 1769.
There is a popular tradition that Henry I was born on board ship during his family's voyage to America. This misconception originated when Henry I lied about his age so he could join the Continental Army. He said he was born in 1758, which was the same date the Furrers arrived in North Carolina. However, he was actually born in 1762, and the Lists of Swiss Immigrants shows that the Furrers sailed for America 19 years before that date.
SOURCES OF FURR GENEALOGICAL INFORMATION
In addition to the genealogical sources discussed in the previous section, the following documents also contain information about the Furr(er) family.
History of the Widenhouse, Furr, Dry, Stallings, Teeter, and Tucker Families, Reverend William Thomas Albright, privately published in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1950.
Supplement to the History of the Widenhouse, Furr, Dry, Stallings, Teeter, and Tucker Families, Reverend William Thomas Albright, privately published in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1956.
The Stutts Families and their Descent from Jacob Stutts of Moore County, Katherine Shields Melvin, privately published by Fred McLeod of Dudley, North Carolina, not dated.
The McLarty Family of Kintyre, Scotland and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and Their Descendants, compiled by Adelaide McLarty, Charlotte, North Carolina: Crabtree Press, Inc, 1974.
The Dictionnaire Historique & Biographique de la Suisse, published in 1926 by the Administration du Dictionnaire Historique et Biographique de la Suisse, Place Paiget, Switzerland, includes listings for several Furrer families on pages 291-293. Unfortunately this book is written in Swiss French. First names of Furrers mentioned in this book include Heinrich, Leonhard, Tobias, and Jakob. The parts I have been able to translate so far indicate the following: "Furrer. Name of a family widespread in the Swiss allemande, particularly in the cantons of Berne, Lucerne, Unterwald, Uri, Valais, and Zurich. This name derives from Furre, also widespread."
A number of Furr(er)s immigrated to America in the middle 1700s. The lineage of many of these is unknown. Equally unknown is whether or not any descendants of these Furr(er)s still live in this country. While some of the following Furr(er)s are very likely untraced descendants of Heinrich Furrer, many are probably from unrelated family lines. Information regarding the lineage of these individuals would be greatly appreciated.
William Furr -- lived in Northhampton County, Virginia in 1655.
Henry Furr -- transported to Virginia in 1658.
Lenhart Furer -- landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738/1739.
Leonard Furer -- landed in Pennsylvania in 1739.
The Lists of Swiss Immigrants show that the following left from the Parish Wetzikon in May 1743 for the purpose of going to Carolina:
Heinrich Furrer (born
November 13, 1691) from Stagen, who really belongs to the Gossau district.
Susan Baumann (born January 24, 1692) wife of Heinrich Furrer.
Felix Furrer (born April 1, 1720)
Hans Jacob Furrer (born October 4, 1722)
Susana Furrer (born December 31, 1724)
Hans Felix Furrer (born July 12, 1729)
Anna Maria Furrer (born October 8, 1731)
Barbara Furrer (born May 15, 1735)
A son Hans, born October 10, 1717, is in the Dutch service, the father wrote to him from Rotterdam that he should also make the journey with them, but he did not go.
The Lists of Swiss Immigrants show that the following left from the Parish Zell, against all warnings and admonitions, for the purpose of going to Pennsylvania, Carolina, etc.:
Ulrich Furrer (baptized on August 18, 1720 and son of Ulrich Furrer) left May 13, 1743.
Bernhardt Furrer (born
September 19, 1697) left with his family on August 29, 1743.
Babelj Zuppinger (born August 6, 1697) wife of Bernhardt Furrer (Note that Hans Conradt Zuppinger and Babelj Meyer and their family also left on this day).
Heinrich Furrer (born July 6, 1731) [Our direct ancestor according to this story]
Hans (born January 27, 1737)
Jacob Furrer -- sailed September 17, 1750 on the brigantine, Sally, from London bound for Pennsylvania.
Christian Furrer -- sailed November 3, 1750 on the ship, Brotherhood, from Rotterdam with 300 passengers bound for Pennsylvania.
Henry Furrer (1717-1777) -- left Germany around 1762; wife Rachel.
Robert Furr -- birthplace unknown; lived in Stanly County, North Carolina.
Dever William Furr -- born in Stanly County, North Carolina; son of Robert Furr.
Hurley H. Furr -- born in Lancaster, South Carolina; son of Dever William Furr.
In the 18th century there lived in Rockingham and Augusta Counties, Virginia, four brothers and a sister:
Enoch Furr -- born 1741; died April 3, 1845; married Sarah Clawson (1767-?) in March 1786; resided in Loudoun County, Virginia, from 1775 to 1845; served in the Revolutionary War.
Newton Furr -- son of Enoch Furr; born in Leesburg, Virginia, on May 2, 1797; died December 19, 1870; married Pleasant Matthews (January 26, 1798 to February 27, 1883); moved to La Salle County, Illinois, in 1854; had 12 children.
Squire M. Furr -- son of Newton Furr; born June 16, 1827 in Frederick County, Virginia; died October 3, 1875; married Mary Elizabeth Bruner on September 27, 1859.
Stephanas (Vance) Watts Furr -- son of Newton Furr; born September 13, 1837 in Frederick County, Virginia; died February 14, 1917 in Millington, Kendall County, Illinois; married Mary Gray on April 3, 1860; had six sons and five daughters.
Joseph Furr -- lived along Deep River below the horseshoe near McLendon's Creek, Cumberland County, North Carolina, in 1777. The 1790 census shows him living in Moore County, North Carolina, with a wife, four sons under age 16, and three daughters.
George Furr -- filed South Carolina Revolutionary War pension claim.
John Furr -- filed South Carolina Revolutionary War pension claim.
Thomas Furr -- executor for will of Nicholas Biddle, January 12, 1778 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Charles Furr -- 1810 census shows him as being between 40 and 50 years old and living in Moore County, North Carolina; owned 270 acres in Moore County in 1815; the 1830 census shows him with a wife, four sons, and four daughters all under 20 years of age.
Elizabeth Furr (1758-1827) -- married Everett Smith around 1773.
Elizabeth Furr (July 25, 1804--November 20, 1858) -- buried in the Yellow Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Georgia.
John Furr -- married Jennie Wakefield on April 17, 1826 in Hall County, Georgia.
Sarah Furr -- married William Gorman on October 7, 1827 in Hall County, Georgia.
David Furr -- listed in the 1830 census in Lowndes County, Alabama.
George Furr -- listed in the 1830 census in Lowndes County, Alabama.
Caleb T. Furr -- 3rd Sergeant in the Gainsville Georgia Dragoons on February 20, 1836.
North Carolina marriages (all in Cabarrus County unless otherwise indicated):
Elizabeth Furr -- Henry Cline
on December 9, 1800
Henry Furr -- Elizabeth Groner on September 1824
Elizabeth Furr -- Joseph Foster on December 22, 1830 in Mecklenburg County
Catherine Furr -- Harwood Cagle on December 5, 1831
Sally Furr -- Joseph King on July 19, 1836
Mary A.B. Furr -- Rowland Allmond on July 9, 1838
Susa Furr -- Henry Dills on December 18, 1838 in Macon County
Solomon Furr -- Sophia Miller on April 20, 1841
Paul D. Furr -- Rachel E. McEachran on December 15, 1841
Solomon Furr -- Avaline Brown in 1844
Paul D. Furr -- Elizabeth A. Harris on February 1, 1844
Moses C. Furr -- Sarah Furr on January 31, 1848